BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have developed a type of modified porous membrane which could be a viable option for seawater desalination and oily wastewater purification, according to the Guangdong Academy of Sciences (GDAS).
The study team developed this new type of high-performance, low-cost, and scalable modified membrane with superior oil resistance, said He Bin, researcher with the Institute of Eco-environmental and Soil Sciences under the GDAS and leader of the study.
The utilization of solar steam generation via photothermal conversion is a sustainable and highly efficient solution for addressing long-standing water scarcity.
Due to its extensive optical absorption, dopamine has been considered a promising photo-thermal conversion material.
The team improved the hydrophilicity and anti-fouling properties of this modified membrane by co-depositing Fe(III) and the silane-coupling agent (KH550) with polydopamine, according to He.
Study results showed that, under one sun illumination, the newly-modified membrane generated solar steam with an efficiency of 90.33 percent.
Its evaporation rate also performed well, even in oil-contaminated water, due to its hydrophilicity and anti-fouling capabilities.
The study results have been published in the journal Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. ■